Posted by: newq | September 9, 2010

Life and how to live it part XII

Let’s start with the facts… as of late June I’ve been living in sin, shacked up with Kristin in a rented house while I sublet my place.  Our pastor was on sabbatical so when, upon her return, I told her about the sin part she said “Great, glad to hear it.”

With joys come sorrow and shortly after moving in we had to put down Kristin’s old cat.  He was on his way out when we moved but still hard to do.  Then not 6 weeks later my only family in town, my cat Jack, died suddenly and unexpectedly.  He literally dropped dead in the kitchen on a Saturday morning.  Kristin called me when she saw him flop over.  I put on my pants, flip flops and grabbed the wallet and in that 30 seconds I came out and he was gone.  He had always had a small heart murmur and the vet always said they were unpredictable.  Even the callous hearted no holds barred dirty fighting Teamsters were like, “Damn.”

If that isn’t enough sadness here was the next stab to childhood, A DARK CRYSTAL SEQUEL.
Hide your crystal shards.

Most of you have met my dad.  A middle class guy with blue collar tastes.  And most of you know I follow that to some extent… but did you know I was related to white trash?  No you didn’t and Kristin refused to believe me until this summer’s story.

Summer is a time for family reunions and my dad’s is no exception.  Now my paternal living relatives are my half brother, my dad, two of his cousins, and 4 second cousins once removed. (Annie, Tim Jr., not to be confused with Timothy Wayne and Chris) (Yes I had to look that relationship up.  My dad’s good high school friend married my dad’s cousin and this PTSD Vietnam vet whisks her back to a trailer near her childhood home on the border of Wisconsin and the U.P.  On the cleared 5 acres of this 80 acre hold over of the old family farm she grows morbidly obese while he doesn’t and the trailer stays the same size.  100 yards away the oldest son and Gulf War vet moves into their own trailer on the family compound with his wife and kids.  Obese Betty passes, and daughter Annie (now 35) moves in with her second husband into her deceased grandmother’s house 300 yards from the second trailer. (Annie’s first husband was a then 64 year old pistol of a man.  He stood on the groom’s side in the second wedding)

That’s a long way of saying the dad and two kids live on a compound rifle distance from each other.  This year my dad got the annual invite for the reunion and he went as he always does.  The highlight of this years event, and mind you there are toddlers to teens running around as well, was the following… to quote the invite

“Hello Chuck (my dad), Chris called me this morning and asked me to pass the word they will be having a tattoo artist there Saturday morning at 9 the artist expects to make $500 or Chris and Marianne will have to make up the difference. Please help me spread the word to anyone you know that will be coming to the family reunion. Thanks!”

Don’t worry, the family met the challenge.

From dysfunction of one kind to dysfunction of another as this past weekend was PAX Prime, the gaming convention I volunteer at.  I spend about 2-3 hours at the show before shift and then do a 6 hour shift in the Information/Logistics booth.  I would have thought after the 3rd time that I might get tired of it, but it’s really a community and I love it.  From the kilt wearing Aussies (yes plural) to the guy not 2 blocks away… and I’m just talking about the volunteer force here.

While I had to wait until Sunday to get my Wil Wheaton snub accomplished it did happen.  It wasn’t as sweet as the Boston one, that’ll be hard to top, but it does put me at 5 snubs total.  Now you might imagine that a lot of info booth questions are the same but one of my stock answers this year was “Through the doors on you right, all the way back, past the DeLorian, and on your left.”  How often do you get to say that!  I’m telling you that after the 100th time it’s just as sweet, “Past the DeLorian.”  Now you can make plenty of jokes about gamers and the like, people like me are too old for video games and need prescription scopes for their sniper rifles, etc.  But video games are only half of it.  It is equally large in the table top realm and the panels are just another facet.  I say that to say this.  While it can’t sum it all up, at least 10% of the con can be summed up in your new favorite picture.


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